1. WHIPPED GOAT CHEESE POMEGRANATE BITES
1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust, unrolled
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Fresh cracked pepper
4 ounces goat cheese
2 tablespoons honey, divided
3 teaspoons finely minced fresh rosemary, divided
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon grated garlic
1-2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 package pomegranate arils
Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
Using a small 3-inch cooking cutter cut out little rounds in your pie crust. Cut out as many little rounds as you can get out of your pie crust - about 24 rounds.
Lay your pie crust rounds onto the prepared baking sheet. Brush each round with olive oil and sprinkle each one with cracked pepper. Using a fork poke each round a few times so it does not puff up too much.
Bake for 5 minutes or until they are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
While the pie rounds are cooling in a bowl add goat cheese, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon minced rosemary, lemon zest, grated garlic and 1 tablespoon heavy cream. Using a mixer blend together until whipped and easily spreadable. if it's too thick add a bit more heavy cream until you have reached desired texture.
Spread the whipped goat cheese onto the cooled pie rounds, top with a few pomegranate arils, a sprinkling of the remaining rosemary, a drizzle of the remaining honey and a few cracks of black pepper.
2. MARSCAPONE STUFFED DATES
12 dried Medjool dates, pitted
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1-2 tablespoons of honey
4 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
3 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
¼ teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Maldon salt
Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
Place dates in a small baking sheet. Drizzle them with olive oil.
Bake for 10-12 minutes in the oven. Let cool on the counter for 5 minutes.
Fill each date with a teaspoon mascarpone cheese. Top the dates with honey, pomegranate seeds, and walnuts. Sprinkle them with flaky sea salt.
Serve immediately, while it is still warm.
3. CAKE BATTER TRUFFLES
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups yellow cake mix
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles
16 oz (8 squares) white almond bark
2 teaspoons veg oil or shortening
In a food processor with dough blade, combine butter, yellow cake mix, sugar, flour and vanilla extract. Blend until a firm dough forms and there are no lumps left. Remove from food processor and mix in rainbow sprinkles by hand.
Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on a large baking sheet covered with wax paper. Place dough balls in freezer for 10 minutes.
While dough is chilling, melt almond bark in 30 second increments, stirring each time. Once completely melted, stir in vegetable oil until smooth.
Dip truffle balls in melted almond bark using toothpicks or a fork. Return to wax paper and sprinkle the tops with rainbow sprinkles.
Let truffles coating harden on the counter for 1 hour or in the fridge for 20 minutes. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Truffles do not need to be stored in the fridge, but can be if you like them cold!
4. SALTED CHOCOLATE DIPPED MANDARIN SLICES
5 mandarin oranges
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate or dark chocolate chips
sea salt or coarse salt
1 teaspoon shortening, optional
Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and set aside. Peel the mandarin oranges.
In a microwave safe bowl or with the help of a double boiler, melt chocolate chips and add shortening, if desired. Adding shortening is optional - it helps make the chocolate super smooth and easier to work with. Using only melted chocolate will work fine as well.
Dip each slice halfway into the melted chocolate and place on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and repeat until all slices are evenly coated and sprinkled with salt. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or until chocolate has hardened. Enjoy!
Salted Chocolate Covered Mandarin Slices will keep up to 2 days in an airtight container or storage bag in the fridge.